The 1979 Cricket World Cup featured eight participating teams and witnessed a total of 15 matches, including the electrifying semi-finals and the grand final, making it a memorable chapter in the history of cricket.
West Indies’ Glorious Repeat in 1979 Cricket World Cup: Second Consecutive Cup
The defending champions, West Indies, continued their remarkable reign at the Prudential World Cup, cementing their legacy with a resounding 92-run victory over the hosts, England, in the final. It was their second consecutive World Cup win, and it unfolded on the very same hallowed ground where they had clinched their maiden World Cup victory back in 1975.
Vivian Richards, coming in at the pivotal number three position, etched his name into cricket history with a splendid innings of 138 runs. His mastery of the crease extended all the way to the 60th over, leaving an indelible mark on the game. Richards’ innings featured 11 beautifully timed fours and three towering sixes.
Collis King, too, showcased his cricketing prowess, contributing a fine 86 runs, comprised of 10 expertly executed fours and three powerful sixes. His partnership with Richards was instrumental, rescuing West Indies from a precarious 99/4 after the early loss of captain Clive Lloyd, who could muster only 13 runs. For his stellar performance, Richards rightly earned the title of Player of the Final.
In response to West Indies’ challenging total of 286/9, England displayed early promise as opening batsmen Geoff Boycott and captain Mike Brearley combined to put up a formidable 129-run partnership for the first wicket. Boycott contributed 57 runs, while Brearley notched up an impressive 64.
However, England’s fortunes took a downturn after Graham Gooch’s departure, as the remaining batsmen (from positions 5 to 11) struggled to reach double-digit scores. The English innings concluded at 194 runs, with Joel Garner leading the West Indies bowling attack with a remarkable 5/38, and Colin Croft making a significant impact with 3/42. England’s last seven wickets fell for a mere 11 runs, an astonishing collapse from 183/3 to 194 all-out.
Prior to the 1979 Cricket World Cup final showdown, England secured their spot by defeating New Zealand by a narrow margin of nine runs in a gripping first semi-final in Manchester. Meanwhile, West Indies showcased their supremacy by defeating Pakistan by 43 runs in the second semi-final at The Oval.